ARLINGTON, Texas -- This has not been a welcoming place for the Red Sox in recent history. The Red Sox were swept at Globe Life Park last year and hadn't won a series here since August of 2011.
Until Sunday, that is, when the Sox beat Texas 5-2 to take the series two games to one. Coupled with their series win over the Rangers at Fenway last month, the Sox thus won the season series with Texas for the first time since 2008.
John Lackey, a Texas native, limited the Rangers to two runs on seven hits over seven innings to even his record at 4-4. Coming into the start, Lackey owned a bloated 6.61 ERA in the ballpark.
The Red Sox provided him with early run support with a three-run first inning. Mike Napoli doubled home one run and a two-run single by A.J. Pierzynski stretched the lead to 3-0.
After Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled in the second and scored on a fielder's choice, the Red Sox offense was shut down, with the team collecting just one hit from the third through the sixth. A solo homer by Dustin Pedroia off Texas starter Robbie Ross provided some insurance.
Lackey yielded a solo homer to Shin-Soo Choo in the fourth and a run-scoring double to Mitch Moreland in the seventh. He struck out nine and walked none.
It marked the sixth time in eight starts that Lackey has allowed two runs or fewer.
Andrew Miller took care of the eighth, with Koji Uehara pitching the ninth.
STAR OF THE GAME: John Lackey
Lackey allowed two runs over seven innings in one of his best starts ever in Texas. He struck out nine and didn't walk a batter and has quality starts in six of his eight outings this season.
HONORABLE MENTION: Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia continues to settle in in the leadoff spot. He doubled and scored in the first, walked in the second and homered in the seventh. The homer was his second in the his last eight games after going without one for his first 28 games.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Adrian Beltre
As the Rangers' No. 3 hitter, Beltre is expected to lead the offense. Instead, he was 0-for-4 with a double play and a strike out and never got the ball out of the infield, while stranding a baserunner.
TURNING POINT: After Shane Victorino made the curious decision to sacrifice bunt as the second batter of the game, Mike Napoli doubled home Dustin Pedroia and A.J. Pierzynski singled home two, giving the Sox a big inning early.
BY THE NUMBERS: The series win was the third in a row for the Red Sox and fourth in the last five.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "We're going to point to the starting rotation as the main component and that's showing right now.'' - John Farrell on the Red Sox winning their third straight series and fourth in the last five.